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The African Village Where Crocodiles and Humans Live Side by Side in Peace

In cultures all across the globe, animals are revered, and even worshipped. In Hinduism, for example, cows are valued for their gentle nature. But not every sacred animal is quite so harmless; crocodiles were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, as they were believed to be living representations of the god Sobek. You may be surprised to learn that the deification of crocodiles is far from ancient history.

In Burkina Faso, just 30 kilometers away from the capital of Ouagadougou, there is a small village of Bazoule, where its people — descendents of Mossis warriors — have chosen the Crocodylus suchus as its totem. Although Bazoule is located in a landlocked country, it does have its own pond, where 150 of these unusually docile creatures reside. Despite the fearsome reputation of crocodiles, the villagers have no problem living alongside them. In fact, the Mossi boldly approach the crocodiles to play; they even sit on and lie next to them.

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